Olympus Has Fallen.
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At the basic level, a good film. Though the prologue doesn't have much to do with the rest of the film, it was still a good setup, showing the First Family celebrating Christmas together and the relationship of Secret Service Agent Michael Banning with President Asher, his wife, and particularly their son ... a relationship that changes abruptly in a tragic accident on an icy Washington bridge.
The film then jumps forward 18 months, to July 5th, and this is where the main plot begins. The bulk of the movie covers roughly 24 hours, from dawn on the 5th to dawn on the 6th. Before sunset, President Asher, top members of his cabinet, and the visiting South Korean delegation are held hostage in the presidential bunker, at the mercy of a ruthless North Korean terrorist named Kang and a Secret Service turncoat. The rest of the Secret Service Agents (except Banning, who now works a desk job at the Treasury) and scores of others - civilians, police officers, military officers - are dead, fires rage in the White House, and Speaker of the House Trumbull must step into the vaccum of power. In a scene that is almost surreal, Kang's men tear down the bullet holed Stars and Stripes from the flagpole and toss it over the roof, where it floats to the ground in slow motion as the sun sets.
The only hope that the captive President has is for the disgraced Banning to infiltrate the White House and rescue him.
And Banning does.
By dawn, Kang and his men are dead, but the cost is high: the vice president was killed in the bunker after an unsuccessful counterattack and the Secretary of Defense tortured, while an unknown number of US soldiers have died trying to take back the White House.
Despite how good it is, I have several problems with the movie.
First, the fact that the Secret Service could be caught so off guard and were practically letting themselves be cannon fodder for the terrorists' attack. They seemed to be out in the open a little too much.
Second, Agent Roma's radioed warning to the SS Director before he was killed. In no way did it evoke the suspense I expected. If he had been shot and managed to radio Jacobs with his last breath, and they had showed Jacobs' reaction as Roma's words came over the radio, it might have been more dramatic, but the way it was written it fell completely flat.
Third, the Cerberus codes. Are we really supposed to believe it would be so easy to have cracked Asher's code once Kang had the other two?
Fourth, the language. I know OHF was R rated, but the near constant f- and s- words was a little too much.
Still, this was a good movie and one I will probably add to my collection. However, due to the violence, I likely will not watch this one over and over, but only occasionally.